Not only has 2014 included the introduction of their Sportsman 570 Forest and Sportsman UTE but Polaris are also celebrating their 60th anniversary of all-terrain vehicle production.
Only months after the launch of the Sportsman 570 Forest, Polaris recently introduced the Sportsman UTE, designed in particular with features to suit hill farmers.
Available from September, the UTE carries over many of the Sportsman 570 Forest features, including four-wheel descent control (4WDC), a fuel injected engine and independent suspension, but with a few added features to make life easier for hill farmers.
Its hill descent control feature is likely to be one of the biggest draws for hill farmers. The system automatically engages when the ATV is travelling downhill, providing optimum traction and control in various conditions, says the manufacturer.
It is noticeable, too, giving a smoother downhill ride and much more control.
With a towing capacity of 556kg, the Sportsman UTE cannot be denied its hard-working capabilities and the 180kg tipping dump box is another jewel in the ATV’s crown.
The Sportsman UTE hopes to offer the capabilities of a farm truck, combined with the agility of an ATV, and the rear dump box takes it one step closer to achieving that.
It is essentially a smarter version of what most farmers add on to their ATVs to help carry things around.
The tray is also able to tip, offering ease of use when depositing heavy loads. A removable tailgate allows for spreaders and other attachments to be used, which does not restrict application.
As with the Sportsman 570 Forest, the UTE is fitted with a larger alternator, producing 650 watts at 7,000rpm, enabling it to carry out spreading tasks.
Further reduction of the seat size has made for an altogether comfier ride and, as before, the narrower seat enables more foot room on the foot bars, providing a more natural driving position.
Electronic power steering is a standard feature on the UTE, as are the fitted indicators, mirrors and horn, which reduces the need for it to be adapted further for road use. However it needs to be licensed to be road legal.
Other features include its on-demand, true all-wheel drive, which automatically switches on when the driver needs more forward traction.
It gets a winch and the firm’s Lock and Ride composite carriers, which allows a range of
accessories to be fitted. Metal bars are also fitted, which can be used as tie-down points.
Operation of the UTE remains the same as the 570, with controls logically laid out and easily accessible on the handlebars.
The UTE is belt-driven via a continuously variable transmission (CVT) connecting to two forward ranges (low and high) and reverse, which are selected using the grab-stick to the right of the handlebars.
Front storage compartment is the same size as the Sportsman 570 Forest and offers a waterproof safe-haven which is ideal for keeping things dry.
Sealed ball joints and driveshaft splines, and suspension bushes which can be greased, help make general maintenance easier.
As part of the evolution of the Sportsman range, Polaris says the UTE fits in between the Standard Sportsman 570 and the Sportsman 500 X2, and will be available from September, offered in the Blue Fire colour scheme.
Compared to the Sportsman 570 Forest, the Sportsman UTE offers very little extra.
However, the dump box, with the tipper and removable tailgate are real added bonuses, and would make many farm jobs much easier.
The 4WDC provides security and driver confidence when manoeuvring over gradient terrain. You can really feel the 4WDC kick in even down a small decline, giving you confidence it would perform in tougher conditions.
The more natural seating position, and the way your feet feel firmer on the foot bars make the bike and driver feel more stable.
Overall, Polaris has done a good job providing the ATV for its target market - hill farmers.